Anyone living in southern Israel is no doubt bruised and battered after years of facing terror attacks from Gaza — especially Israeli children. But, writes Israel Hayom’s Noa Amouyal, these kids are resilient, love the Holy Land, and are not about to let Hamas destroy their childhoods:
Tags: children Gaza Hamas Israel Israel Hayom Noa Amouyal Terrorism
It was supposed to be the first sight that greeted them as they entered the camp and embarked on their first day of vacation: a vivid sign welcoming the children, surrounded by colorful balloons.
But not a single balloon was put up for fear that the mere sight of them would upset campers.
This is the life of the children in the Eshkol Regional Council, roughly 10 miles away from the Gaza Strip.
A year of indiscriminate rocket attacks, protests along the border fence and incendiary balloons being hurled across into Israeli territory has put them on edge, making even those as young as five hyper-aware of their surroundings.
But a visit to a local camp at the Yuvalei Ha-Bsor School tells another story – one that doesn’t tend to make headlines.
An afternoon with campers reveals that although they may be bruised, even traumatized to an extent, they love their home and will not allow Hamas to ruin their childhood.
“We try not to let the security situation change our lives. As soon as we are scared to get out of our own home, they’ve won,” said Adam Russell, a 16-year-old camp counselor.
“I love living here,” he added, during a conversation that touched on both the trauma and freedom to live in one of Israel’s most picturesque areas. “I would love to raise a family here, despite what’s happening.”
Comparing the usually tranquil agricultural community to his previous home in London before his family made aliyah, he recalled that now he’s free to be a child. “In London, I wasn’t allowed to go get the newspaper by myself. Now I’m free. Children do what they want here…”